Being Willing to Suffer

  • Many years ago I had the privilege of participating in a workshop for the Alternatives to Violence Project.  I complete the basic and advanced workshops which introduce the twelve guides to transforming power.  Several years later I complete the Training for Facilitators course to become a facilitator.  AVP is a program, while sponsored by Quakers in many places, is not religious, or political; it is a forum where rich and poor, citizen and convict, and a diverse mixture of ethnicities, ages, religious and political affiliations, etc…  I have participated in many workshops and found that the one guide to transforming power that stands out for me is to be willing to suffer for what is important.  As a follower of Christ, I think about all Jesus suffered in His life and ministry.  He spend His adult life helping, teaching and ministering to others.  As I look at Jesus’ life, I see He wants us to follow Him, what He thought, said, and did.  He also said that a friend would lay down their life tor their friends.  That means not only the sacrifice He made in death, but also the sacrifice in His life, constantly forsaking the stuff we consider fun and entertaining to tend to the needs of all around Him.  As I meditate on that, I realize that helping others is important to me, ministering to needs, and while I love doing many fun and entertaining activities, I must be willing to suffer for what is important.